Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Grand Slam

Last night was one of those rare times when I have tried new dishes for dinner -- three at one time -- and they all turned out great. They were very much comfort foods, which are really a requirement at this time of the year, with it so cold and snowy out. They were very nutrition-packed as well, and since I've been fighting a cold for a few weeks, I feel like I need to pound some vitamins. They were also an odd combination, but strangely they tasted good together.

Two of the recipes, the Ham and Gruyere Stuffed Potatoes and the Plantation Beans and Cabbage came from the Southern Living recipe website ( The Blueberry Smoothie came from Ellie Krieger at the Food Network. The potatoes were our "meat" and I served fresh fruit with dinner along with the vegetables. The smoothie was our dessert and the kids really liked them. I will make all three again, and next time I might make the smoothie mixture and then put it in the ice cream freezer for a frozen treat.


Doug said these Ham and Gruyere Potatoes were the best stuffed potatoes he's ever had. These had a different flavor, with the garlic and parsley, and that was welcoming. I substituted Jarlsberg for Gruyere, and you can use any Swiss. I've listed the ingredients as I made them, for 6 people. This recipe gave me another opportunity to try my "uber" potato ricer (as my 18 yo German student/son calls it). I just scooped the potato pulp into the ricer and squeezed them through. Then, I just stirred -- no mashing or whipping involved. I really wish I had know about this gadget a long time ago -- it makes fabulous mashed potatoes.

Pic from
Ham and Gruyere Stuffed Potatoes

6 large baking potatoes
3 teaspoons butter
1 large garlic clove, minced
3/4 c. milk
3/4 shredded Gruyère cheese, divided
3/4 chopped cooked ham
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Wash potatoes and prick with a fork.
Bake for one hour, or until potatoes are done.
Let cool a few minutes.
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell.
Reserve shells; set pulp aside.

Heat butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat.
Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds.
Add milk; bring to a simmer.
Pour milk mixture over potato pulp.
Add 1/2 cup cheese, ham, and remaining ingredients, mixing well.
Stuff shells with potato mixture.
Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake at 500° for 8 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.

This recipe has the southern flavor of green beans, pork and the sweet and sour tastes of vinegar and sugar. I love the addition of the cabbage -- making it more nutritious and giving it more depth of flavor. I substituted a little chopped ham for the bacon -- since I was using chopped ham in my potatoes, I just pulled a little out for the flavor in the beans. I cut this recipe in half to feed my family of six (the kids ate just a small portion).

Plantation Beans and Cabbage
2 bacon slices
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 (16-ounce) packages frozen French-style green beans, thawed
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups very thinly sliced green cabbage
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp.
Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon bacon drippings in pan;
crumble bacon and set aside.
Add onion to pan; cook over medium heat 2 minutes.
Add green beans; cook 2 minutes.
Stir in water, salt, and pepper.
Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
Stir in cabbage; cover and simmer 5 minutes.
Combine sugar and vinegar, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Add sugar mixture to pan; cook, uncovered, 1 minute.
Sprinkle with bacon.

This Blueberry Smoothie packs a nutrition punch. It's a deep purple, and very creamy. I altered the recipe a tad and am posting it as I made it. We each had an 8 oz. serving and that was plenty for a dessert portion. You might want more if you're serving it as a breakfast or snack.
Blueberry Blast Smoothie

1 1/4 c. vanilla yogurt
1 cup milk
2 cup frozen blueberries (unsweetened)
2 teaspoon honey, more or less to taste

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.


1 comment:

annie said...

This sounds like a great dinner, and one that I could "sell" around here pretty easily. We ate your wings last night, and they were also a Grand Slam. Thanks SO much for the recipe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!